Golf Swing Construction 101; The Bertholy Method Revisited

I would like to take just a few minutes and review Doug Ferreri’s book, “Golf Swing Construction 101; The Bertholy Method Revisited”. It has single-handily resurrected my golf game.

I’ve been playing golf for over forty years. I started when I was a caddy back in the early seventies. I did not have any formal lessons, and learned mostly by reading instruction books, watching other golfers and professionals swing, and beating lots and lots of golf balls. I played and practiced every day for many years, and got to where I played pretty good. My handicap during those years was always around scratch, never higher than a three. But, golf wasn’t any fun. I was driven to be perfect, and made the game too much like work. Besides that, all the different swing theories that were out there did nothing but confuse me. My playing golf every day came to an end with the first Gulf War. When I came back home my golf game pretty much picked up where it had left off, but a couple years later I was assigned to recruiting duty, and was lucky to have the time to play once or twice a week. Golf since then for me has been more recreational than anything else. I will say that I’ve enjoyed it a lot more, but mainly because of the social aspects of the game. My scoring was naturally much higher. I could play in the mid-to-high seventies to the mid-eighties without too much effort, but no more scratch golf for me. That ship had set sail. Then, late last fall even my recreational game tanked, and I floundered. I’m not really sure what caused it, but nothing I hit was solid. I hit a lot of shots fat, and lost just about all confidence. So, I hit the internet looking for answers.

During my search I spent most of my spare time reading the various golf forums. My favorites were The Secret in the Dirt, Lag’s Advanced Ball-striking, and Network 54 Single Axis Swing forum. I followed Carmeron Strachan’s Golf Guru Blog for quite a while, and looked into Jayne Storey’s Chi Power Golf. I also spent a whole lot of time on You Tube. Through all of that I never found what seemed to me to be the answer I was looking for. Eventually I gravitated back to one of the heroes from my earliest golfing days; Mr. Ben Hogan. I’ve always been fascinated by Ben Hogan and his “secret”. Ever since I picked up the game I’ve had this notion that there was only one right way to swing a golf club. I was convinced that Mr. Hogan had found it, and that was what I wanted. As you probably know already, you don’t have to study Hogan for very long before other names start popping up. One in particular that captured my attention was Moe Norman. He also fascinated me. I never bought into the “single axis” swing, though. I could see pretty clearly that Moe dropped into a second plane. I read as much as I could about Moe, watched You Tube videos of him, etc. On one of his videos someone asked him who he thought were the best teachers in golf. As I remember, he gave three names; Ernest Jones, Manuel de la Torre, and Paul Bertholy. I knew of Ernest Jones, and had his book “Swing the Clubhead”. I had never heard of Manuel de la Torre, but after some searching on the internet, I ordered his book, “Understanding the Golf Swing”. Both are really good books, but neither of them had what I was looking for or needed. I was looking for a complete system in one package. Then I found a picture of Moe lying in bed with a book titled “The Bertholy Method”, and I started researching Paul Bertholy. That’s when I found Doug Ferreri’s website. I contacted him right away, and ordered his book the same day, and what a difference it’s made!

I should note that Doug Ferreri has been fantastic. He never fails to return my emails and has answered all my questions and more. Because of my particular situation, Doug recommended I begin doing the Golden Exercise (Program 3). When I got to the vertical drop, it was like a light bulb coming on. I stuck with the exercise and the next time I played I couldn’t believe the difference in my ball-striking. That was the first part of this year. I immediately decided to go back and start the programs from the beginning. I wanted it all. I am currently in Program 4, but I still do the Golden Exercise, and have recently added the PSM Jig, the Rifle Barrel Drill, and Deltoid lifts to my routine. Probably the best way to describe the change in my golf game is before The Bertholy Method I would swing and hope the ball would go where I wanted, whereas now, right at five months into the program, the ball goes where I hit it. It’s an incredible feeling. In just these few months my scoring has dropped down from the mid-eighties into the mid-to-low seventies, and I’ve broken par twice.

I hope I haven’t been too long-winded. I am really passionate about Paul’s method, and Doug’s work. I try to absorb every scrap of Bertholy information and picture I can find. I just can’t get enough! It has rejuvenated my golf game to the point where it is fun again, and I can’t wait until it’s the next time to play. I am so thankful that Doug has taken the time to compile Paul’s teachings into “Golf Swing Construction 101; The Bertholy Method Revisited”. If you don’t have a copy yet, my best advice to you is to get at least one copy. I have two; one I keep at home with my other Bertholy stuff I’ve collected, and one I keep at work to read during my breaks. Like I said, I can’t get enough. The book is clear and concise, with plenty of pictures to support each program. And again, Doug has been really great whenever I have a question about one of the drills, or on anything else related to Paul. If you’re interested, you can find out more information at Doug’s website: It is most definitely worth a look. It will do nothing less than clarify and solidify your understanding of the the swing, regardless of the golf instruction program you currently embace.

One really great thing about Doug’s book is the price; $35.00. That’s it! There’s nothing else to buy; no videos, training aids, nothing! Everything you need to learn a pro quality golf swing in one complete $35.00 package. It’s been the best money in golf that I’ve ever spent. I wish I had discovered it when I first started to golf back in the early seventies. That’s another thing, the Bertholy Method isn’t new. It’s been around for over sixty years. Paul Bertholy was the father of golf drills! His “Golden Exercise” drill was featured in Golf World back in 1966, and Golf Magazine ran a number of articles by Paul in the seventies and eighties. So many of the golf terms in use today originate with Paul Bertholy; “vertical drop”, “horizontal tug”, “hit impulse”, “rifle barrel”, “rod and claw”- all coined by Paul. The stuff is timeless.

Just one more thing and I’ll stop. There is a section in the book where Doug has compiled a number of Bertholy Aphorisms, words of wisdom to remember while playing golf. All of them have been helpful, but my favorite so far is, “Only the lazy ones fail.”

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